All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship
By Kieran Murphy
CARLOW put in a huge performance in this All-Ireland intermediate camogie championship second round game at Fenagh training centre on Saturday but just when it looked as if they were capable of driving on for victory it was the visitors who struck the decisive blows.
Ahead by 0-6 to 0-4 and then 0-7 to 0-5 in the second half it took a huge last quarter by Cork to clinch victory with the key moment coming on 45 minutes when full-forward Linda Collins got inside the Carlow cover and found the net from an angle on the left. A minute later Caroline Sugrue added a point and from there it was an uphill task for Carlow. Losing manager Mark Brennan was disappointed but defiant afterwards.
“I am really proud of them. For 45 minutes of that game we were on top and we were really doing what we wanted to do. Things were working for us,” he said.
With the quality of the opposition, Carlow set themselves up into a containing mode as Marian Doyle and Tara Wilson dropped into defensive roles. That left Michelle Nolan and Rachel Sawyer alone up front. Losing attackers to help in defence is a bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul and Brennan acknowledged as much.
“When you are playing that way things have to be going well for you. It worked for 45 minutes but you need a lot of legs to continue playing like that for a full game.”
Cork lost right half-back Lisa Lynch on five minutes when she was stretchered off after an accidental collision. The game developed into a battle of wills with Eleanor Tracey converting Carlow frees while Keeva McCarthy and Rachel replied for the Rebelettes. Lisa Abbey showed her experience in avoiding an attempt to hook her as she found the posts from over 45 metres. Hayley Ryan did likewise for Cork with a great point under pressure. Carlow went in with a 0-5 to 0-4 advantage at half-time.
As the second half progressed Carlow fought for everything but struggled to create chances. Instead it was Cork who struck the vital scores which ensured victory.
“Maybe we ran out of steam. We are not used to playing at this level and we made some silly errors. This is going to happen. This is development. It is frustrating but I couldn’t be prouder of the girls,” said the Carlow manager.
Carlow: Niamh Doyle; Leanne Nolan, Aine Ryan, Niamh Canavan; Michelle Nolan, Emma Brennan, Mairead O’Shea; Eleanor Tracey (0-6fs), Shannon Kavanagh; Marian Doyle, Lisa Abbey (0-1), Anna Breen; Tara Wilson, Rachel Sawyer, Emma Cody. Subs: Ava Murphy for Breen (53 mins), Breen for M. Nolan (55 mins), Eve Sinnott for Cody (56 mins).
Cork: Amy Lee; Leah Weste, Sarah Harrington, Niamh Ni Chaoimh; Lisa Lynch, Sarah Buckley, Maeve Lynch; Lauren Callanan, Finola Neville; Kathlynn Hickey (0-1), Keeva McCarthy (0-3 2fs), Hayley Ryan (0-1); Rachel O’Shea (0-1f), Linda Collins (1-2), Caroline Sugrue (0-2). Subs: Jacinta Crowley (0-1) for Lynch, Michaella Buckley for Ryan (43 mins), Lucy Kelly for O’Shea (53 mins).
Referee: Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny).